Is It Purim Yet?

woodfordEli woke up early on Ta’anis Esther.

He looked at Malky and asked, “Is it Purim yet?”

“No,” Malky said. “It’s not Purim yet. You need to go buy the kids costumes. We’re doing an Asian fusion theme.”

So Eli took Chuni and Meilich and Slavy and Rivky and Pinny and Lazer and baby Yitzchok Chaim Menashe to the costume store and bought them sushi costumes and chicken teriyaki costumes and kani salad costumes, and he gave the boys chopsticks to bang for “Haman,” while the girls accessorized with bowls of wasabi and flasks of soy sauce.

“Is it Purim yet?” Eli asked Malky.

“No,” Malky snapped. “It’s not Purim yet. You need to buy Shalach Manos. We’re doing a colonial theme.”

So Eli drove his beat-up 93 Dodge Caravan to the supermarket and walked through the aisles and then realized he did not know what colonial foods looked like, so he filled his cart with chocolate wafers and packages of Bamba and a box of small bottles of Cream Red Concord.

“Is it Purim yet?” Eli asked Malky.

“Goddamnit,” Malky said, rolling her eyes. “No, it’s not Purim yet. And no one buys Cream Red Concord. I told you to get the sparkly grape juice with the gold foil!” And Malky gave Eli a new shopping list.

So Eli drove back to the supermarket and looked at the list, which now included lots of things for the Purim seudah, which cost a lot more than he could possibly put on the account, but he had no choice, and so he filled his cart with roast beef and brisket and lamb and veal and smoked whitefish and smoked salmon and pickled salmon and salmon gefilte and prune hamantashen and apricot hamantashen and chocolate hamantashen and two-filling hamantashen and the new feta-and-spinach savory hamantaschen and the ground-beef hamantashen with spicy chipotle sauce.

“Is it Purim yet?” Eli asked Malky.

Malky closed her eyes and said “Riboinehsheloilem, it’s not Purim yet. We have to hear the megillah first.”

So Eli went out and on his way to megillah reading stopped by the Mikveh yid downstairs, and he bought a one-liter bottle of Woodford Reserve. Then he forgot to listen to the megillah and came home.

“It’s not Purim yet!” Malky cried.

Eli poured himself a glass of bourbon, neat, and held it up to his nose, then looked at Malky and grinned.

“Oh, yes, it fucking is,” he said.

Then he drank the bourbon and poured another and another until the bottle was empty and his face was flushed and Eli was very happy that it was finally Purim.

“I love Purim,” said Eli.

“I don’t,” said Malky.

This post was originally published on the late great online publication Unpious on March 13, 2014

About the Author
Eli Mandel is a graduate of Pupa cheder in Monsey, N.Y., the Telz yeshiva and Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is now recovering from ultra-Orthodoxy with his wife and four daughters in Philadelphia, PA. When he's not riding his motorcycle, he works to improve financial well-being through proper budgeting as a form of tikkun olam.
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